Government snooping on e-mails, calls on the rise
By Yatish Yadav - NEW DELHI
27th November 2012 09:15 AM
Eight law enforcement and intelligence agencies, authorised by the Centre to intercept telephone calls, are monitoring 10,490 phones across the country. These agencies are also screening 1,601 e-mail accounts of various users, on different platforms. The data recorded until September reveal that the number of e-mail accounts under the scanner has increased by 36 per cent.
Earlier, e-mail service provider ‘Google’, in its transparency report, had stated that it had received requests from the Indian Government for information on 2,319 users through official channels. Government had also asked data on 3,467 users or accounts between January and June 2012. ‘Google’ in its report had stated that only 64 per cent of the total data requests were fully or partially complied with.
According to Supreme Court guidelines, the Union Home Secretary has to approve the agencies’ request for monitoring and recording a phone call. This approval is valid only for two months, unless extension is granted in some rare cases. Guidelines also suggest that tapping must be restricted to specific targets and a review committee is responsible for ascertaining whether the tapping is in the interests of national security.
The high-level committee, which confirms orders issued by the Union Home Secretary, saw 1,915 fresh requests from the Intelligence Bureau (IB), 11 from the Enforcement Directorate (ED) and 492 from the Directorate of Revenue Intelligence (DRI). The committee comprises Cabinet Secretary Ajit Seth, Telecom Secretary R Chandrasekhar and Law Secretary B A Agarwal.
The Committee, which met recently, cleared new requests for monitoring 876 e-mails by the IB and Signals Intelligence of the Army, an official note said. “Already, 725 e-mails were being monitored by the two agencies under the Indian Telegraph Act.”
Among the agencies, IB topped the chart in monitoring phone calls, by eavesdropping on about 5,500 phones. During the same month, Andhra Pradesh Police made 549 requests.
- You are aiming high, but beware of marketers selling you as an FMCG
- Wedlock valid only if consummated: High Court
- Underworld has betting syndicates in vice-like grip
- NCRB report: 1,316 juveniles booked for rape last year
- New Mental Health Bill bans electric shocks, gives right to treatment
- Caste curses Dalit, tribal children to life of slavery beyond borders
- Tiruchendur temple ‘under grip’ of Tirusundarars
- ‘Papi hills’ going the sex tourism way?
- Indian Coast Guards help rescue 26 crew from shipwreck near Yemen
- Callgate: Doctors were prime target for Biju, Saritha Nair
- Berthing facilities for naval ships
- Now pay less for roaming calls, texts
- Several cheating cases against Saritha S Nair
- Shalu Menon's mother files plaint
- Imran Khan damaged Pakistan cricket: Aamir Sohail
- 'Ankur Arora Murder Case' (Hindi)